Follow Indiana University School of Medicine’s Service Learning Program in December 2019 with 7 Elements! See there experiences in the Caribbean learning about Global Health and Human Security with our local health professionals and 7e team! 

Indiana University School of Medicine’s Program Blog!

December 15-22, 2019

Day 1, Dec. 15th – Arrival Day!

Hello everyone! IUSM had a successful arrival day! The group came in two trips accompanied by our awesome local team. They were traveled along the North Coast to the Indalo Lodge, nestled in Las Canas and had a few hours to settle in. Our team held a short orientation and briefed the students on what the next 6 days would have in store. We can’t wait to start tomorrow’s adventure and jump into our service learning journey with our long time partner University.

Stay tuned!

Day 2 – Dec. 16th – Orientation to Global Health & Human Security

Today was jam packed much learning and getting into the groove of what the rest of the week will hold. The morning started with our community ethics lecture, the pinnacle of global health and international development. It is so important to start the program with this because it sets the tone for the rest of the program. After our lecture, we went visited Dr. Peña at a local health clinic and participated in a vitamin distribution led by these local professionals. We were able to see what a smaller scale health provider looks like in the Dominican Republic. After finishing this activity, we returned to the Lodge to unwind, have dinner and participate in nightly lecture. Dr. David Addison, founder of 7 Elements, led tonight’s lecture which focused on Human Security and its interconnections and Global Health. We are excited for what tomorrow holds!

Day 3- Dec. 17 – Medical Brigade & Ocean Time

The third day in the Dominican began with a medical brigade in a Rio San Juan community at local pastor Juan’s house. Our Indiana University medical students worked with Dominican medical student colleagues to triage patients for primary care services. The Dominican students supported all of us with our Spanish abilities to close gaps in communication. The combined efforts allowed Dr. Caho to successfully treat a total of 60 patients. After, we enjoyed a beautiful afternoon at Playa Caleton; rope swings were definitely included. Once everyone was full from another delicious dinner, the Dominican students presented information pertaining to their medical school program and patiently answered all of our questions. The rest of the night consisted of Meregue, Bachata, and Salsa dance lessons with a mixture of some Cotton Eye Joe. Needless to say, we may have embarrassed ourselves but it was worth it!” -Sydney DiGregory, Indiana University School of  Medicine.

Day 4 – Dec. 18th – Water Tank and Culture in Caño Dulce

On our fourth day, we traveled to the community of Cano Dulce with the medical students from the Dominican Republic. Here, we were able to walk from house to house and survey community members about the perceived benefits of the implementation of a water filtration system. After spending some time in the community, we trekked up the hill to begin construction on the water tank. Students worked in a variety of capacities, from digging trenches for the water pipe to cementing the structure of the tank. We took a short break for lunch at the house of Johnny Bee. After Johnny played a quick song for us on the guitar, we went back to work on the water tank. We finished up for the day and traveled back to back to the Lodge, we headed down to the beach for some relaxation and team bonding time before the Dominican students departed–we were all very sad to see them go! In the evening, we had a lecture from Dra. Pena about healthcare in the Dominican Republic. All in all, it was a day of hard work but we learned a lot and, as always, had fun!

Indiana University School of Medicine

Day 6 – December 20th – Water Tank and Bee Farm

We eagerly returned to the community of Cano Dulce to continue our work on the water tank construction project (Day 4), this time without the aid of the local DR medical students. We split into two groups and made significant progress on two main aspects of the project: digging a trench for the water pipe and cementing the structure of the tank. We re-visited Johnny Bee’s house during lunchtime, after which he took us to his bee farm. Johnny took us across a wire-bridge he made, showed us his beehives, explained the honey-collecting process, and even got honeycomb pieces for all of us to try. After the refreshing break, we returned to our construction sites to finish up our respective aspects of the project but were sadly struck by rain within an hour. Some of the students were able to visit the home of another local, Clementina, where she made coffee for us and shared the breathtaking views of her backyard. Muddy and damp, we returned to the Lodge and passed the time until dinner and reflections. Overall, we were happy with the progress we made on the water tank construction and especially grateful for Johnny generously opening us into his home. 🙂